President at the Munich Security Conference: Withdrawal from Avdiivka allowed to save lives of Ukrainian warriors

Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Photo:

The decision to withdraw Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka, Donetsk region, where our defenders have been holding back Russian attacks for several months, is logical and fair, as it will save Ukrainian lives until the necessary weapons arrive. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his participation in the Ukraine in the World panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.

“We are preserving our people, our warriors, because this is what defense is all about,” the Head of State said.

The President noted that the Ukrainian military withdrew from Avdiivka to other positions to avoid being surrounded, but it cannot be said that Russia seized our territories.

“This does not mean that people have withdrawn for kilometers and Russia has captured something. It hasn’t captured anything. We have to understand: Russia has been trying to do something in the east for two years of war. They have simply destroyed a few villages and towns, but most importantly, they have destroyed our lives,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy explained.

The Head of State emphasized that Russia used all available types of weapons and lost tens of thousands of its soldiers in the battles near Avdiivka.

“Depleting their army – I believe that our military is constantly fulfilling this task. Saving our lives is also, in my opinion, the right decision. Then there will be recovery, they will wait for the proper weapons, which were simply insufficient,” the President noted.

At the same time, he emphasized that Ukraine is in dire need of artillery and long-range weapons and counts on the help of partners in this matter. In addition, according to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, it is important to gain an advantage over the enemy in the sky.

The Head of State noted that the supply of air defense systems would enable Ukraine to unblock the skies and help our warriors move forward.

“We are grateful to our partners – we have started receiving air defense systems: Patriot, IRIS-T, NASAMS. I am grateful. They are not enough to move forward quickly. But the solution is very simple: people return to the places where we have air defense systems and boost the economy of a city,” the President said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also emphasized that Ukraine is developing the production of drones.

“We will surprise them this year with drone systems and electronic warfare systems, which will be positive for us and negative for Russia. These are our domestic technologies. This is a parallel path that we are pursuing while waiting for assistance from our partners,” the Head of State said.